Dev Week 2: Sound Design pt. 1

Between the Week 1 and Week 2 critique I worked exclusively on designing sounds for the game. In total I created 60 sounds this week for the game.

The work breakdown for the week was as follows:

Task Time Spent (hours)
Fleshing out preliminary sound list into comprehensive version 0.5h
Creating gibberish dialogue scripts for Lucifer and Lil’ Lucifer 1h
Split Lil’ Lucifer’s script into emotive dialogue. 0.5h
Record all vocal based sound/dialogue. Act out emotions. 2h
Mixing 41 vocal sounds for Lil’ Death, Lucifer and Lil’ Lucifer in 3 bulk sets.
Includes experimentation time.
7h
Sourcing royalty-free effects to mix into original sounds for the game. 2h
Mixing 19 effect based sounds individually.
Includes experimentation time.
11h
Documenting processes for mixing sounds and listing sources in spreadsheet. 1h
Making showcase video. 1h
26 hours

It was a bit of a challenge deciding how to design the babble dialogue for this game but I took inspiration from Croc 2 and also The Sims where the characters make intelligible but nonsense sounds in a cute, high pitched voice, or low pitched depending on their role in the story.

I made use of a gibberish generator, and formed dialogue into emotive expressions for Lil’ Lucifer, who is arguably the character with the most colorful dialogue in the game; this is the reason why I tried to act out a various amount of different emotions in his voice before mixing it. Unfortunately one of the pitfalls is that he occasionally sounds Mexican after the combination of my voice acting style and my mixing method for his voice. This does not fit well with our group’s image of this character, and is thus something that will need to be revised later on. For now it’s on the back burner.

The majority of my mixing was done in Audacity, and most of the effects I used related to:

  • Pitch adjustment
  • Noise removal via sample subtraction
  • Fade In / Fade Out to control length of sounds
  • Tempo adjustment
  • Reverb presets
  • Bass and Treble boosting
  • Amplification / De-amplification where necessary

I kept track of all the development progress of my sounds in Google Drive, in the designated asset list for the sounds.

Despite this, I have customized the format of this asset list to assist with keeping track of royalty free samples that I acquire, for the purpose of crediting the creators later on.

In the event of a data loss incident I also included general notes on the mixing process for the different vocal parts, and for each of the individual effect-based sounds; hopefully I will not have to refer to these notes again in order to remix these sounds, but having a space to record my steps in the mixing of each sound has also been helpful during mixing itself, as a way to backtrack if necessary.

I have compiled some of the key sounds that Lil’ Death and Lucifer makes into a short video shown in this week’s critique. Making this video gave me the opportunity to layer some of the sounds in what is hopefully a similar style to how they will be stacked during gameplay, something which I could not reproduce during mixing. My attempt at this can be visualised in the Premiere Elements timeline screenshot to the left.

The compilation video for some of the first set of sounds can be viewed below:

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